HC Deb 05 November 1962 vol 666 cc584-5
15. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give the total number of persons unemployed in the Burntisland, Kirkcaldy and Leven districts including the respective Youth Employment Offices at the latest available date in 1962; what were the comparable figures for 1961; and what percentage those figures represent of the insured population.

Mr. Whitelaw

At 15th October, there were 209 workers unemployed at Burntisland, 1,151 at Kirkcaldy and 968 at Leven. The corresponding figures for 16th October, 1961, were 92, 803 and 646 respectively. Percentage rates can be provided only for the travel-to-work groups; these were, for the Dunfermline group 4.6 in October, 1962, and 3.0 in October, 1961; and for the Kirkcaldy group 5.2 and 3.3, respectively.

Mr. Gourlay

Surely these figures indicate and underline precisely and clearly just what I was aiming at in my previous Question about the rapid increase in unemployment in this area and the fact that the Local Employment Act has been quite ineffective in providing alternative employment in the area. Would the Minister consult the President of the Board of Trade to see when and how soon jobs will be coming out of the famous pipeline to try to employ some of my constituents in Burntisland who are unemployed?

Mr. Whitelaw

Naturally we are in constant consultation on the problem of development districts. I do not think that it is entirely fair of the hon. Member to say that the Local Employment Act has brought no help to his area. I think that the figures would prove that the facts are very different. I would add that an advance factory is being set up at Cowdenbeath, and also that the large engineering shop on the Donibristle industrial estate is being converted for use as an advance factory.